Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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2011 Year-In-Review

2011 - A Year in Photos BeginsIn the last few weeks, I’ve heard a lot of people lamenting how terrible 2011 has been. Just last night when I was out for dinner, I overheard the people at the next table describing 2011 as a “black cloud” and hoping that 2012 will bring some better luck. And I do know some people who have suffered awful tragedies in 2011 – the loss of loved ones at far too young an age or loved ones in terrible accidents that will mean a long and slow convalescence into 2012. But somehow I managed to not only avoid the back luck that so many seemed to have this year, it was actually a really amazing 365 days for me1.

Off the top of my head, I can think of several amazing things that happened for me in 2011:

But scrolling through my blog postings for the year, I see even more cool things happened this year. I started the year off with my first ever Polar Bear Swim. I picked up a new fun class to teach in January. I gave my first and second invited guest lectures (at Vancouver Island University and the University  of Guelph, respectively). I learned that I’m a fire dragon! I was featured in a hard hitting news story about eating at pubs during hockey playoffs. I ran an 8 km and a half marathon and bought a shiny new bike. I wrote what I consider to be one of my best blog postings ever. Becoming an unvegetarian lead to a number of firsts for me, including cooking my first turkey and my first steak. I also made my first ever appearance on a podcast.
I made it over to Vancouver Island in February, but then didn’t make any other trips in 2011 until June, but after that, I was traveling in every single month of the year: Ottawa/Gananoque/Toronto in June, Oregon in July/August, Edmonton in September, Victoria in October, Ottawa/Montreal in November, and Vancouver Island again in December.

And tonight I’m off to ring in the new year with some friends and an endless supply of margaritas! Here’s hoping that everyone has a fabulous 2012!

Image Credit: Posted by Jackson Carson on Flickr.

  1. Lest you think I don’t know how bad a bad year can be, we only need to look back to 2006! []

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Nerd Stats 2011

Here is a quick summary of my blog and Twitter stats for 20111:

2008 2009 2010 2011 % change from 2010
Blog postings: 423 357 344  380 +9%
Tweets: 2,227 1,815 2302 3,6252 +57%
Visits to my blog 32,410 45,153 44,689 60,560 +36%
Average number of blog visits per day 933. 1264 122 166 +36%
Busiest day on my blog: Sept 26, 2008 (460 views)5 July 25, 2009 (1,181 views)6 Feb 9, 2010 (233 views) Oct 10, 2011 (374 views)  +61%
  1. to see previous years’ nerd stats postings, click the year in the table []
  2. note to self: You started blogging in 2008, so you get these totals by simple subtraction, not by some fancy pants program or anything. I hope this helps you when you write your “Nerd Stats 2012” posting when you think “how the hell did I figure out how many times I tweeted in a given year??” []
  3. not sure why this value is not equal to the number of visits to my blog divided by 365 days. Probably some some of rounding error []
  4. ibid []
  5. thanks to the Hockey Hotties posting []
  6. thanks to the Blogathon! []

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I’m Compensating for My Tiny Name

Today I got a most excellent email informing me that my application for the Credentialed Evaluator designation was successful! This designation is bestowed by the Canadian Evaluation Society on those who can demonstrate that they possess the skills of a competent, ethical, and awesome evaluator. In addition to demonstrating my awesomeness, this designation also allows me to add to more letters behind my name – C.E.

Since I only have 8 letters *in* my name, I have been on an ongoing quest to add more letters after my name1. For the record, my name is now:

Beth Snow, B.Sc.(Hons.), M.Sc., Ph.D., C.E.

That’s nearly twice as many letters *after* my name as are in my name!

And it also means that I can now knock off one more item on my list of goals for 2011 – with a day to spare!

  1. See also: MBA. []

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Goals for 2012

I’m feeling in a creative mood, so I’m going to try to set my 2012 goals1 by making them all have something to do with 12 or multiples of 12. I’m very aware that I’m going to be hellabusy in 2012 with that whole school thing starting, so I’m trying to set my goals for be reasonable given my limited time, yet still a bit of a challenge to help me make sure I’m doing things that I really should be doing.

  • score 12 points on one of my hockey teams – I was going to put 12 goals, but seriously, who am I kidding?
  • go to 24 yoga practices – that’s just about one every other week, which should be doable
  • run 240 km – that averages out to less than 5 km per week and since 5 km is my basic “I’m going out for a run” distance, I should be able to get that done, right?
  • knock 24 items off my 101 list of things to do in 1001 days – I’m thinking I should be able to do #1, 2, 4, 15, 16, 17, 24, 25, 51, 92, 98, and 99 should be easy ones to tackle
  • run in 3 races – OK, so this one isn’t a multiple of 12, but it is a divisor of 12 and I’ve decided that’s good enough because there’s no way in hell that I’m going to be able to run in 12 races! I’m already planning to do the 8km race at the BMO Vancouver International Marathon and the zombie obstacle course race in August, so I really just need to find one other one to do and I’ll be golden on this one
  • make $112,000$100,008 – Sure I’ve put “make $100,000” on my list of goals in both of the past two years and failed miserably *and* I will have zero time to do any extra freelance work, but I figure that I should get to count my scholarships as part of “making” money, so this one isn’t as completely far fetched as it might sound. I’ll have to come up with some creative way to actually reach it, but “aim high” is what I always say, right?

And that, my friends, is six goals and six is a divisor of 12 and that’s just about all the nerdery I can handle in this blog posting. Now here’s hoping that I actually remember these goals at some point before December 28, 2012.

  1. See goals from 2010 and 2011. []

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Reviewing my Goals for 2011

Being that it is the end of the year, I figured that I should see how I did on my 2011 goals. Like last year, I set a bunch of goals at the start of the year and then promptly forgot what they were. Because I’m awesome like that. So let’s see how I did on my neglected goals, shall we?

2011 Goals Achieved(y/n) Excuse
run a 2-hr half marathon N I ran the Scotiabank half marathon in 2:10:48, so I wasn’t even close to my goal of 2 hrs. My excuse – I was lazy about my training and thus have no one to blame but myself!
make $100,000 N I didn’t do much in the way of freelance work this year and the one course I taught at the Justice League paid less than the course I used to teach at UBC, so I think I will have made less in 2011 than I did in 2010. I failed at this goal in 2010 too, so at least I’m consistent!
reduce my remaining student loan debt in half Y I more than succeeded at this one! On January 1, 2011, I owed $39,467.71. By the end of the day on December 31, 2011, I’ll only have $10,797.43 left to pay. That means I’ll have brought my student loan debt by 73% of what I owed at the start of the year!
get my Credentialed Evaluator designation  Not yet but…Y Received on 30 December 2011!…I’ve submitted my application, which currently holds the status of “under review.” Hopefully that will change to “approved!” early in the new year!
blog every day in 2011  Not exactly, but…  …I did write 375 blog postings, which is equivalent to more than one per day. Plus, I still have four days left in 2011 in which to blog. So while I didn’t publish a posting on every day, I think I did pretty well on the quantity of blog postings fronts this year.

So, there you have it. I failed in all but one  two of my goals, but the one of the ones that I succeeded on was the most important one *and* I totally blew out of the water. Plus, I achieved something this year that I hadn’t even conceived of when I set up my 2011 goals, and it was so epic that it pretty much makes all other goals meaningless in comparison.

Next up, a posting about my goals for 2012!

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Christmas Is A Time For Lazing

So now that I’m waking from my food coma of Christmas feasting, I seem to remember that I have a blog that I’ve been neglecting. But I have to say that I’ve been having a lovely time doing absolutely nothing on my holidays. Well, I shouldn’t say I’ve done *nothing*, because I’ve done a lot of eating. And drinking tea and coffee and lattes and Lions Winter Ale. I also went for a nice run yesterday – and it’s super hilly here on the Island, so I totally earned all the eating and drinking. Plus, I started reading a book, just for fun, which is something that I know I won’t get to do once school starts.

I was also pretty spoiled. In addition to the USA Pan that my sister gave me pre-Christmas1 so that I’d have it in time for my Christmas baking, I got a set of Lagostina cutlery2, earrings, a skull-and-cross bone necklace, a Lululemon gift card, a purse full of make-up and nail polish3, and my niece made a penguin-shaped eraser for me to use for my homework. And Sarah and Dave sent me two awesome books. Like I said – spoiled!

Over the next few days I’ll be doing my usual year-in-review and goals-for-the-new-year type postings. But for now, I’m off to drink a cup a tea!

  1. Omg, I totally thought I’d blogged about the USA Pan, but it appears that I haven’t! I must rectify that posthaste! []
  2. So that I can throw lavish dinner parties once I move back to civilization. Also, so that I can have more than three knives. []
  3. That one is from my mom, of course! []

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Merry Christmas

So very, very full. And spoiled!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

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CyberCookies 2011

I’m freaking exhausted from a day of Christmas baking, so today’s posting on my Christmas-baking-while-chatting-online-with-my-family-who-was-also-baking is going to be mostly photos and short on words. I’m too tired for typing words.

Meringue snowflake

Meringue Snowflake

Chocolate mice

Chocolate Mice

For the record, here’s what everyone baked:

Beth

  • shortbread cookies
  • meringue snowflakes
  • chocolate mice (white and dark chocolate)

Mom

  • cranberry nut clusters
  • chocolate lollipops
  • reindeer cupcakes with Madeline
  • butter tarts
  • Muskoka tarts
  • whipped shortbread

Nancy

  • peanut butter fudge
  • rocky road drops
  • pecan pumpkin cookies
  • pumpkins pie squares
  • oat butter brittle
  • key lime cheesecake squares
  • blue cheese walnut crackers

Daniel1

  • lemon squares
  • graham cracker cupcakes
  • thumbprint cookies
  • banana chocolate loaf

 

  1. Nancy’s friend Daniel; not to be mistaken for Dr. Dan []

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Merry CORPmas!

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of corporate jargon.

Corporate speak tweet

I’m particularly not a fan of people using nouns as verbs, or verbs as nouns, in an attempt to… actually, I’m not exactly sure what they are attempting to achieve by doing this. Sound smart? Exclude people who aren’t part of their in-crowd from knowing what they are talking about? I mean, why would you say that you are “tasking someone with an ask” when you actually mean to say that you are “asking them to do a task”? I even recently heard someone repeatedly use the word “impacting” as an adjective! (“This can be an impacting strategy!”)1

So I totally laughed out loud when I saw this – a flow chart of the 12 Days of Corporate Christmas:

12 Days of Corporate Christmas

Special thanks to Drew from Words, Pictures, Humor for letting me post this on my blog!

  1. And don’t even get me started on the word “impact.” I know that it’s not technically incorrect to use the word “impact” as either a noun or a verb but ohfortheloveoftheFSM I hate it so much. So. Much. IMHO, it just comes across like people are trying to sounds smarter by using “impact” every five seconds. Can’t we just use “affect” and “effect,” please? []

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Things I’m Looking Forward to About Being a Student Again – A List

Lest you think that going back to school is all about giving up other things, I give you this list of things that I’m looking forward to about being a student again (in no particular order):

  • learning new stuff – I love to learn new things and business is an area where I know very little (Accounting? What’s that? Economics? What are those?). I’m especially excited to be able to learn things (particular the stuff about leadership and strategy) to my work environment.
  • meeting new people – There will be about 40 people in my class, only one of whom I know already. Plus there is a big network of alumni and profs – all people that I’ll get to meet and learn from. Also, given that the class breakdown of the MBA program is about 75% male, 25% female, it looks like I’ll be working with a lot more boys than I’m used to working with1.
  • tuition and education tax credits, especially since the tuition fee for the MBA is *huge*. Also, there is now a tax credit for textbook purchases, which didn’t exist the last time I was in school.
  • scholarships being tax-free, especially since I have a nice big fat scholarship
  • being in school without accumulating more student debt
  • being able to get student discounts again2
  • the U-Pass – super cheap transit access *and* a tax deduction3!
  • library access – I’ve been able to access the UBC Library since I graduated as I’ve been a faculty member, but I’m not teaching any UBC courses this year so my access just expired4.

Have I forgotten anything?

  1. My previous education being in nutrition, which is probably about 95% females, my current employment in health care is also filled with a majority of women, and I play hockey with all women. Not that I have anything against women, but it’s nice to have a balance []
  2. Did I mention that I am a cheap, cheap woman? []
  3. Is it wrong that I’m already excited about filing my 2012 taxes? []
  4. Apparently you can get access as an alumni, but it’s proving to be a cumbersome process. I started the process, but I’m expecting that I’ll probably get access as a student in January before the alumni thing pans out. []